Pain of celibate marriage may be hidden by habits of denial

February 19, 1993|By Knight-Ridder News Service

Are you denying pain a sexless marriage is causing you? Below is one of many checklists authors Joan Avna and Diana Waltz offer in their book, "Celibate Wives." This one assesses whether a wife is in denial about the amount of pain she feels over her sexless marriage. Write "True" next to the statements that describe you. If you have many Trues, you may need to confront your situation.

1. I try hard not to focus on the bad things in my marriage, but try to find positive aspects instead.

2. I find that if I keep busy enough I don't have time to think much about my marriage.

3. My marriage really isn't so bad. I know other women who are much worse off.

4. My husband really means well; he just can't always control what he says and does.

5. I often find myself making excuses for my husband's behavior to our children, family or friends.

6. When we have a fight, I go out and buy a new dress or something for the house. I always feel better.

7. When I go out, I always try to be nicely dressed, wear attractive makeup and have a smile on my face no matter how bad I may feel.

8. I know that our problems are only temporary. We would never be the type of couple who ends up in divorce court.

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